The Benefit of Being Below Average

Dunking on your 10-year-old.

Going to community college after getting a 1600 on the SATs.

Playing Madden on Rookie.


Sure, you’ll dominate the competition, but what good does it do?

Being head and shoulders above your peers in either intelligence or physical prowess feels good. We all have egos that need petting.

But it doesn’t help you any; not in the long run anyway. The more time you spend at the top of the food chain, the less you will grow. There’s no one to challenge you. There’s no one to force you to improve.  

Rather than trying to become the smartest guy in the room or the best girl on the field, find a room or field where you will be far from the best.

Find a place where you are below average by comparison. By putting yourself around people who are better than you, you will have no option but to get better. It’s survival of the fittest, and you don’t want to be left behind.

In your relationships, your job, and your social circles, look for areas where you aren’t the cream of the crop.

When I met my wife, I probably wasn’t below average, but I had plenty of room to grow. She taught me how to communicate, about the 5 love languages, and everything in between. I knew that if I didn’t get up to speed, I’d lose her. I was in a position where I had to improve.

In my career, I’ve always grown the most when I wasn’t up to the task. One particular position I held made me want to pull my hair out. It wasn’t because I was a brand new teacher, ignorant to how the job is done; it was because I was met with a challenge that I had to overcome in order to survive. Being below average allowed me to see my weaknesses and progress throughout my time there.

In social circles, it wasn’t until I put myself in a room with driven and inspired people that I found the need to get better than I already was. I felt below average by comparison and that motivated me to catch up to their way of life.

Being below average has been more of a blessing than a curse in most areas of my life. It has shown me my flaws, inspiring me to get better from the sight of them.

Stop trying to be the king of a mediocre kingdom. Put yourself in situations that force you to grow and improve, no matter what your ego says.

 

-Nick

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